Winter day often means comfort food and why not make it as nutritious when it is so easy? This creamy pasta dish contains no dairy products for the texture and consistency but instead it contains organic butternut pumpkin, garlic, onion and chestnuts roasted to perfection and blended with plant based milk and nutrition yeast for the optimal tasty yet nutritious sauce. I used organic khorasan (also known as kamut) pasta which is not technically gluten free (yet so easily adaptable) however if you can tolerate it, contains protein, complex carbohydrates, fibre as well as thiamine, niacin and magnesium.
Is anyone else a fan of chestnuts? When roasted properly, it is so delicious and hearty. It brings back memories of our winter trip to Japan last year when we (ok, me in particular…) would order a bag of freshly toasted ones and refuse to share. Apart from being a good complex carbohydrate source, these little morsels are loaded with potassium and folate. They are actually the only type of nuts that contain a decent amount of vitamin C too! In this recipe, I have roasted them and used half in the sauce as well as lightly panfrying some in a little extra virgin olive oil to make them nice and crispy for a topping.
1/2 organic butternut pumpkin, sliced into wedges with skin on
1/2 brown onion, wedged
2-3 garlic cloves
4-5 stems of fresh sage
1-2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil (optional-see notes)
Salt and pepper to season
400gms organic chestnuts
1.5 cups plant based milk of choice* I used coconut milk
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
I punnet whole brown mushrooms
1 small head of broccoli, cut into florets
1 TBSP coconut aminos
Pasta of choice to serve four people* I used organic khorasan spaghetti
1.Preheat the oven to 190C.
2. Score a cross onto each of the chestnuts ensuring you cut through the outer skin.
3. Place the pumpkin, sage, onion, garlic and chestnuts on a large baking tray. Drizzle everything except the chestnuts with half the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes before removing the chestnuts and continue roasting everything else for an extra 15 minutes.
4. In a seperate pan, add the mushrooms, coconut aminos and a grind of black pepper. Bake for 15 minutes.
5. Enclose the chestnuts in a clean tea towel to keep them warm as this assists in removing the outer skins. Carefully peel the skins off and set aside.
6. Cook the pasta as per packet instructions. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta water. You may steam the broccoli at the same time either with the same pan or separately.
7. When the vegetables have finished roasting, add them to a blender with the half of the chestnuts, plant-based milk and nutritional yeast before blending until smooth. You may or may not need to add more liquid at this stage.
8. In a large pan, drizzle the residual olive oil and lightly panfry the other half of the chestnuts until crisp, ensuring they do not burn. Set aside when done.
9. Pour the pasta sauce into the pan and lightly heat up before adding the cooked pasta and cooking water. This thickens the sauce more and brings all the flavours together!
10. Serve the pasta with steamed broccoli, roasted mushrooms, fresh herbs of choice and crunchy chestnuts. Enjoy!
❀ Khorasan pasta can be easily substituted with buckwheat, spelt, wholewheat, quinoa, chickpea or amaranth pasta if desired.
❀You could use the equivalent of carrots, potatoes or other variety of pumpkin.
❀Please do not fear oils or fats in meals! A good quality source of monosaturated/ polyunsaturated fats is necessary for optimal metabolism of vitamins found in coloured fruit and vegetables. There is a reason why vitamin A, D, E and K and their derivatives are called fat soluble vitamins.
❀Leftovers can be easily frozen for future meals.
I hope you enjoy this recipe.
Love and light,
“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”-John Muir.